[Spellyans] SWF (t) and Maga web site

Daniel Prohaska daniel at ryan-prohaska.com
Thu Aug 9 17:13:13 BST 2012

On Aug 9, 2012, at 5:50 PM, Nicholas Williams wrote:

> Much of what you say below is controversial and I disagree with most of it.

As I expected...

> Nonetheless the following should be pointed out: if we are resuscitating, reviving or revitalising an extinct language our orthography ought ipso facto to be traditional.

Nicholas, this is an opinion. I happen to agree with you but there may be those who don't. 

> Otherwise we are not reviving but conlanging.

No. How close this standardisation should be is a matter of discussion. 

‹dh› is legitimized  through Lhuyd and over a century of use in Revived Cornish.
‹i› and ‹y› are used interchangeably in traditional Cornish, bringing some kind of order into the distribution is desirable. 
final ‹v› occurs in Lhuyd.

The actual interpretation of what these spelling mean in the context of traditional Cornish is up for interpretation on all sides, your, my, Ben's, Albert's, Nance's, Gendall's, Saunder's, Bailey's or Ken George's interpretations are no more or less valid. They can all be backed up with the appropriate attestations and respective interpretations. This can't be about who was "right" all along, but how to move forward.  

> Having a non-traditional orthography is absurd in itself.
> To give it preferential status is ridiculous.
> Nicholas

Yes, but there are no absolutes here. The question is how can we get as close to traditional Cornish as possible and find the greatest consensus doing that.

> On 9 Aug 2012, at 15:14, Daniel Prohaska wrote:
>>> The SWF is not a neutral spelling. It uses graphs derived holus bolus from Kernewek Kemmyn.
>>> *Piw rather than pyw,
>> Nicholas, 
>> I respect your sentiment, but there are some things which aren't so clear cut. The graphs ‹i› and ‹y› and were interchangeably used in traditional Cornish and it is only sensible to assign specific functions or positions to ‹i› and ‹y› in Revived Cornish. You have done this for KS, and the SWF has done it, too, albeit differently. Since in traditional Cornish ‹y› and ‹i› were used interchangeably I have no problem with writing ‹iw›. 
>>> *niver rather than never,
>> Since both ‹never› and ‹never› are attested I believe this is one for the 2013 Review, as belong to the class of words where ‹y› and ‹e› alternate. 
>>> *dy'Lun rather than de Lun,
>> I agree, dy' Lun or dy'Lun is a silly unauthentic spelling habit. I would prefer de Lun or dyw Lun any day...
>>> *melin rather than melyn,
>> The SWF has the rule of the etymological vowel. I don't think you will contest that Brythonic borrowed this word from Latin ‹molina› with */i/ rather than */I/. Since traditional Cornish wrote ‹y› and ‹i› interchangeably I don't see a huge issue, also considering the fact that the recommendations for pronunciation of the SWF specifically say that ‹i› and ‹y› are to be pronounced the same in unstressed syllables. 
>>> *menedh rather than meneth,
>> The spelling ‹menedh› is SWF/L, alternatively ‹mena›. The SWF/M has ‹menydh›. This spelling follows Lhuyd who was the only one to make distinction between the phonemes /D/ and /T/ in Cornish. He has several spellings with ‹dh›. 
>>> *genev rather than genef,
>> Again, Lhuyd has several spellings with final ‹v›. 
>>> *orthiv rather than orthyf
>> Lhuyd and Pryce have ‹orthiv›.
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